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Sweets for the Sweet, Again: Holiday Recipes from Moda

Sweets for the Sweet, Again: Holiday Recipes from Moda

Written by: 
Linzee McCray

Need some ideas for tasty holiday treats? Look no further—Moda designers and staffers happily share theirs. Bon Appetit!

Deb Strain

Every year each family member chooses a cookie and bakes it themselves!  It is so much fun because we usually are all doing it at the same time.  A lot of running into each other, flour in the air, and sugar on the floor!! My son Taylor's choice is usually Snickerdoodles. Here's the recipe, right out of the 1970's cookbook. And here's a photo of my "little" son who, thankfully, will be home for Christmas (and cookie baking)!

Happy Holidays and HAPPY BAKING TO ALL!


Joanna Figureroa

When the kids were younger and we gave lots of holiday gifts to their teachers, we almost always made ours and we almost always tried to make it something that the kids could participate in. One year it was chocolate covered pretzels in Mason jars, one year it was microwave white chocolate peppermint bark [that one is so fun and easy that we still do it], one year it was giant red lollipops. That one was definitely the most mess but the most fun to make. But what we end up making and one of our “go-to “recipes is most definitely zucchini bread with orange peel. These days it’s my daughter who makes this most often in our house, and we almost always triple or quadruple the recipe and make multiple loaves at once… but regardless of who makes it and how many loaves they make, it’s always gone by the next day!

Zucchini Bread with Orange Peel

1 1/2 C. flour

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. pumpkin spice mix [or if you don’t have that, some more cinnamon]

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1 C. sugar

1 C. shredded unpeeled zucchini

1/4 C. canola oil

1 egg

1/4 tsp. shredded lemon peel

1/4 tsp. shredded orange peel

1/4 C. candied orange peel

1/2 C. chopped almonds, pecans or walnuts

  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. Prepare orange peel. We just kind of “wing” this part since we do it so often but you can look up an actual recipe for how to do this online. Cut the peel off one large orange. Try to avoid the pith as much as possible. Cut into 1/4” strips and then chop into small pieces, app. 1/4” each. In a small pan, add a couple Tablespoons of sugar and water and dissolve. Once it starts to boil, add the orange peel pieces. Add more water and sugar if needed as it cooks down. Cook until translucent and to taste, about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Combine flour, spices, baking soda, salt, baking powder.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, zucchini, oil, egg, shredded lemon and orange peel plus candied orange peel.
  5. Add the wet items into the dry items and stir to combine. Add the nuts.
  6. Pour batter into a greased 8x4x2 pan.
  7. Bake in 350 oven for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center come out clean. Cool for 10 minutes on rack.
  8. Remove from the pan and cool thoroughly. Ideally wrap and refrigerate before cutting… if you can wait that long!


Crystal Manning

A few years ago while I was standing in the checkout line, I picked up a Fine Cooking magazine that featured holiday cookies. I have kept it because most of the cookies are unique. The Lemon Lime Butter Wafers are one of my favorites. I've made the batter in advance and kept the logs in my freezer so they are ready to go anytime. I've also gifted the batter to family members this way so they can cook them at their own convenience.


Another crowd favorite in my family is Ree Drummond's bread pudding recipe. It's been confirmed that we can't have Christmas without it.


Jenny Brodeski (Moda sales rep for Wisconsin and Illinois)

I have always loved to cook and bake, and every Christmas since I was little my mama would mark in her cookbooks the cookies she wanted to try that year and make a looooong list of the ones we should make along with their page numbers. When baking day came, the kitchen-aid mixers would be lined up along the counter and we would begin. It would take us all day and then the goodies would all be lined up in her expansive collection of Tupperware and placed in the garage to stay cold so we could portion them out to give to everyone. My mama, Pam Wieland, who was also a sales rep for Moda, has since passed away, but that doesn’t stop me from baking up a storm. I don’t know too many people who have burned out Kitchenaid mixers, but I have. Cookies don’t last long in our house though with 5 kids!

This is a picture that we just took this past weekend for our Christmas family pictures in the “diner” in our home with a platter of my infamous chocolate chip cookies. Our home is not a normal home to most, the previous owners built a Western Town and attached it to the original home. You can get to everything from the inside and we have decided to have some fun with it and make them all different themes. The diner was mine—ha!

Jenny’s Chocolate Chip Cookies 
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 sticks butter at room temperature
Cream the butter and sugars
2 eggs
1.5 t vanilla

Mix in mixer on speed 2 then increase to 4
Return the mixer to stir speed and add:
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
3.5 cups flour
12 oz chocolate chips
Scoop onto cookie sheets with a cookie scooper to have uniform cookies. They will not spread much so they can be placed closer together.

Bake at 350 for 11-13 minutes.


Jen Kingwell

Here’s one of our favourites. It’s rich and gooey and very yummy. I love the fact I can prepare it 48 hours before the day and just pop it in the oven. The recipe is from Delia Smith’s Christmas cookbook.

 Chocolate Bread Pudding


9 slices, each 5mm/¼in thick, good-quality white bread, one day old.

150g/5oz dark chocolate (75 per cent cocoa solids)

75g/3oz butter

425ml/15fl oz whipping cream

4 tbsp dark rum

110g/4oz caster sugar

good pinch cinnamon


To serve

double cream, well chilled

You will also need a shallow ovenproof dish 7x9in base by 2in deep, lightly buttered.


  1. Begin by removing the crusts from the slices of bread, which should leave you with nine pieces about 4in square. So now cut each slice into four triangles. Next, place the chocolate, whipping cream, rum, sugar, butter and cinnamon in a bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, being careful not to let the bowl touch the water, then wait until the butter and chocolate have melted and the sugar has completely dissolved. Next, remove the bowl from the heat and give it a really good stir to amalgamate all the ingredients.
  2. Now in a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and then pour the chocolate mixture over them and whisk again very thoroughly to blend them together.
  3. Then spoon about a ½in layer of the chocolate mixture into the base of the dish and arrange half the bread triangles over the chocolate in overlapping rows. Now, pour half the remaining chocolate mixture all over the bread as evenly as possible, then arrange the rest of the triangles over that, finishing off with a layer of chocolate. Use a fork to press the bread gently down so that it gets covered very evenly with the liquid as it cools.
  4. Cover the dish with clingfilm and allow to stand at room temperature for hours before transferring it to the fridge for a minimum of 24 (but preferably 48) hours before cooking.
  5. When you're ready to cook the pudding, preheat the oven to 350F/Gas 4. Remove the clingfilm and bake in the oven on a high shelf for 30-35 minutes, by which time the top will be crunchy and the inside soft and squidgy. Leave it to stand for 10 minutes before serving with well-chilled double cream poured over.


Kathy Schmitz

This recipe was my FAVORITE when I was a kid.  I don’t think I would eat it now though—haha. It sounds pretty weird : )

Coconut Bonbons


¾ cut mashed potatoes

4 cups powdered sugar

4 cups coconut flakes

12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips

½ a cake of paraffin wax


Mix together potatoes, sugar and coconut.  Place this mixture in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  Shape into 1” balls and place them on waxed paper lined cookie sheets.  Freeze for 30 minutes.

Melt the chocolate chips and the wax in a double boiler.  Dip the balls and place them back on the waxed paper.  Allow them to dry until the chocolate is firm.  Store in a cool place.


Bonnie Olaveson

I have a favorite fudge recipe that I make for my family every year. Of course, I have to make one batch with nuts and one without.  I like it with the nuts and after it’s cold!

It’s really easy and isn’t Christmas until the fudge is made!

Favorite Fudge

2 1/4 cups white sugar

3/4 cup evaporated milk

1/4 cup butter

1 3/4 cup (7 oz.) marshmallow cream

Mix in a pan on medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring often, so it won’t scorch.  Boil 5 minutes while stirring.

Take off heat and stir in:

1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups chocolate chips

1 cup chopped nuts

Stir with a wooden spoon hard and fast until all the chips are melted and it looks a little shiny.

Pour into an 8” x 8” buttered glass dish, chill and cut into 1” squares.



Kathy Skomp (sales rep with her husband, Mark, and pattern designer for Lavender Lime)

Here is my holiday recipe. I made one this weekend for a neighborhood holiday gathering.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Made in an Iron Skillet:

In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, melt 6 tablespoons butter and remove from heat. Sprinkle 3/4 cup brown sugar over butter. On top of brown sugar, arrange 1 large can Pineapple rings and place 1 Maraschino cherry (from small jar) in the center of each pineapple ring.

Mix store bought Pineapple cake mix according to directions and pour over pineapple rings.

Bake approximately 35-40 minutes in 350 degree oven or until fork comes out clean. Invert cake on cake plate.


Jane Davidson (QuiltJane) of Franny and Jane

All the information is in this blog post for my white chocolate/cranberry/coconut and almond bickies (Australian for cookies). https://quiltjane.com/let-the-festive-cooking-start/


Betsy Chutchian

Here you go....I’ve been making this recipe since 1985.

English Toffee

My mom’s candy making advice...Make candy on a day with clear skies and low humidity.


Carrie Nelson

The one recipe I make every year at Christmas, no matter what, is White Christmas Pie.  Because she wanted something different for Christmas Eve, my Mom gave this recipe a try when I was maybe 9 or 10.  The entire family loved it and overnight, it became our Christmas Eve tradition.

The recipe is from the Betty Crocker Cookbook, circa 1952 and this is a photo of the page from the cookbook. Carrie blogged about this in 2015—read more here. http://blog.modafabrics.com/2015/12/twelve-pounds/

Debbie Outlaw (Book and Pattern Buyer for United Notions)

Here's my recipe that I have every Christmas Morning.  It's become tradition that we have this no matter where we are on Christmas morning.

Spiced Mocha

1/2 cup whipping cream
1 Tablespoon instant coffee granules
3 Tablespoons sugar or splenda
1/2 teaspoon gr. cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon gr. nutmeg
Dash of gr. cloves

Combine the first 6 ingredients.  Chill for several hours covered or overnight.  Beat at high speed with an electric mixer until
soft peaks form.

Spoon 1 Tablespoon chocolate syrup into each mug.  Fill with hot coffee, stirring well.  Top with whipped cream mixture.

Yields - 6 servings

Merry Christmas!

 Lynne Hagmeier

My Grandma Ellen made fudge for us every year for Christmas. When I was a kid, my Mom would dole it out in tiny pieces so we didn’t all bounce off the ceiling from sugar overload. When I got married, I received my own box of fudge in the mail. I, too, cut tiny little pieces of the rich gooeyness for my kids and hid the rest. Years later, they still remember the ultra-chocolate-y goodness and requested Grandma Ellen’s fudge for Christmas this year. I attempted my first batch this past weekend and was pleasantly surprised at the results. I swapped the amounts for milk chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate chips because we prefer darker chocolate. I also sprinkled an additional 1/2 cup of walnuts on top, just because. Otherwise, it’s a pretty standard fudge recipe.

Happy Chocolate Overload!

Chocolate Fudge

1 jar marshmallow cream (5-10oz.)

1 1/2 c. sugar

2/3 c. evaporated milk

1/4 c. butter

1/4 tsp. salt

2 c. milk chocolate chips

1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 c. chopped nuts

1 tsp. vanilla

In large saucepan, combine marshmallow cream, sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt; bring to a full boil over moderate heat, stirring constantly. Boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add chocolate chip until morsels melt and mixture is well blended. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Pour into aluminum foil-lined 8” square pan. Chill in refrigerator until firm (about 2 hours.) Makes 2 1/2 lbs. candy.

(Note the tiny square of missing fudge. Cook's prerogative to taste-test the goods.)

If this post hasn't satisfied your sweet tooth, you can find more recipes in last year's Sweets for the Sweet post here.

Do any of these recipes make an appearance at your house at the holidays? What are your favorites?

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